Saturday, December 9, 2017

Oh What the Heck...

When I first started sewing seriously I tried out a Revisions pattern and it was awful. Then recently, the bohemian artwork sucked me in again. How quickly we forget and it is a good thing I think in some instances.



This pattern allows for lots of different fabrics or patterns to be used. Such a great way to move leftover fabric pieces up creatively!



Anyway, I spent just about 3 days of sewing this one up. This is a very fussy precise pattern. None of the steps are hard, there is a just a lot of them and truly, it is best they are followed as written.
I actually love this one, against all odds. I'm not fond of overly fussy patterns, I certainly have had bad experiences with the drafting on the previous pattern and oh, I hate doing button loops almost as much as button holes, but the sleeve is sublime.



You basically make a vest, (a fully lined vest), finish with a bound armhole and then attache the sleeve which is also bound on the underarm section.





Pretty and airy.





I will make this pattern again with just a couple of changes. I would like the neck higher and I might add a hood, the sides on the back to mimic the front side curves and go down a size on top but still grade out to the larger size over the hips. I did not do the pockets as loose bags. I've done those before and they are just kind of a pain getting caught on everything.

I'm also getting ready to start a new winter coat. This is my muse but it won't be exactly like this coat of course. The shape and the hood appealed to me but I wanted my coat to be a raglan sleeve and I'm changing the pockets I think. A lot of design choices will happen on the cutting table for this one.



I have assembled some lovely dark green wool, a taupe organic cotton fleece interlining and some "like the real thing" faux fur. It's champagne sable and it is soft as any mink or sheared sable I've ever felt and it will be the hood lining. It will be hitting the cutting table this weekend and on to the sewing machine next week.

We had some snow here last weekend and it certainly put a damper on our super moon.



 It was rather super but my camera skills are not. This is what it looked like as it rose with the fog around it.



For all my animal loving friends and followers, I give you this amazing bit of advocacy reminding us that pets aren't just for the holidays but for life.

I'm leaving you with Gary Jules doing Mad World. It is isn't it?

Parting shot: Smoochie recuperating after major dental surgery this past Tuesday.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Babbitty Bumble

The Bumblebee warp is weaving up beautifully. The goldenrod yellow and white is so elegant I think and I love the touch of black.



I thought it might be too gaudy or garish but it is not. I'm glad I did an 8 yard warp instead of a 6!
Oh and Babbitty Bumble is a character from The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse by Beatrix Potter

And while the shuttle has been going back and forth, the wheel has been spinning round and round.



The Louet Shetland is a beautifully prepared fiber and the light grey so wintry and soothing to spin.
I'm going to use this lovely fiber for Fisherman's mittens, knitted huge and felted to size providing denseness and warmth even when wet. In the really cold there are no gloves that keep my hands warm and dry, so I'm going to give these a whirl. The end yarn will be a three ply with the last single being a bright Hunter's Orange wool/silk blend. It's just been started so pics next go round....pun intended.

The sewing machine and serger have been happily stitching along with a couple of fun creations.
Way back in the summer of 2016 I bought some appliqued fabric that was handmade in India. Then I spent a year and a half trying to decide how best to use it. Too delicate for pants, I wasn't keen on a jacket for it but then I decided to use it as a simple smock.



 I could preserve most of the appliqu├ęs that way.



I sort of made up my own pattern using an Indigo Junction smock pattern as a guide for the armholes. It's a simple garment, oversized and comfy, perfect for slipping on as I weave or spin or sew.

The second make was a pattern I've had for years and am finally getting to it.



These Khaliah Ali designed patterns have always been so nicely drafted. This was no exception. My only adjustment was to shorten the waist. For curvy gals these patterns are graded with a little more room at the hip and usually princess seams for ease in bust adjustment.



The shoulders are usually spot on. So many patterns mistakenly grade shoulders up to linebacker proportions since we might be a bit fluffy in other areas.



This fabric was purchased super cheap at the closing sale and it wasn't until I opened it up I realized how pretty the print was. Duck Feathers it's called.

What a flipping week it has been in the news! The #MeToo movement promises some change. There will be many casualties, some well deserved, some maybe not so much. I was joking with Gene that extreme vetting might be more appropriate for powerful men than for many immigrants.  I never said my jokes were funny. People in power, be they poor or rich, over a corporation and legions of people
or just a couple of kids or an animal, who come from a place of hate and fear are aways a danger.
So I'm leaving you with this beautiful song by Natalie Merchant, one of my all time favorite artists.
And an admonishment that if you see something, say something. Please.

Parting shot: A mug only a Mother could love and I do!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday, such a simple, beautiful concept.

This campaign was started in 2012 and frankly, amidst all the hype about spending money and shopping this one stands out for it's sheer audacity to be about generosity, kindness and sharing.
Heaven knows there is some real need this holiday season. Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are still without power and reliable clean drinking water. There is need far and wide. You can look in your community or you can go global. Humane societies, conservation movements, homeless kids, women's shelters, famines, suppression and sadly another genocide happening in Myanmar. The point is, it is easy to give a little or a lot this Tuesday to any cause you feel near and dear and all of them worthy. It'll make you feel good!


*****Dog Bone Recall Alert! You can read about it HERE. ********


Smooches between pooches.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Forget About Frost on the Pumpkin

We've got a new one..... Snow on the Gnome!



That was last Friday morning in the wee feeding hours. We got a good 5 inches. Low rider Mandy was not a very happy camper but I have practiced my dog out the door shoving techniques for years with Pogo (and he growls), so she was a piece of snausage to slide out in her little coat. It did sound rather pitiful for a bit though and then she was off playing and sniffing with her BFF's. Just wait until the big snows come....

Friday was also the start of the annual Clayfolk show.



This show is just awesome with potters from everywhere Oregon, mostly southern but some from Eugene and parts out that way. This year was particularly good with some unusual pieces and surprisingly affordable. There is such talent in this area and not just in this medium! I spent too much but found items I loved, each and every one of them.



 I often keep my purchases to wall items since they are less likely to get broken.

Julia Janeaway

This is the assortment this year. The Insectology piece was a one of and could possibly be my all time favorite Clayfolk find.


Bigify to see the googlie eyes

It is by Carole Paquin from Central Point.

The two table top items are a small dogwood bowl to add to my little collection of dogwood items from Faith Rahill Pottery.



Her stuff is so unique and so beautifully glazed.

Speaking of glazes, the green on this beehive water/beverage cooler is so rich in depth and feel.



You can't resist touching it and it works perfectly of course.

Jack, photo bombing, of course!
 I'm thinking Arnold Palmer's for summer! It was the last thing to settle into my overloaded basket and was created by Don Clarke. This was also a  girls night out and after we all paid up for our goodies it was out to dinner at a newish place in Talent called the Pump House. They served up one of the best Philly Cheese steak sandwiches I've had in a long time.

I haven't sewn a flipping thing. I've been cutting out new patterns and planning what I want to do next, what fabrics to use etc.



I did get a band started on the Cendrel for the eyeglass leash but still haven't investigated findings for it. This weekend will be time enough.

Gene and I are taking my Mom out for turkey dinner today and over the weekend I'll roast a bird and throw a couple of casseroles full of stuffing together. We'll have the leftovers we actually eat with none of the fuss of a big multi dish meal. Works for me! I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving
full of blessings and joy. We could all use a yummy meal and some kindness.

And that brings me to the song of the day, one that is close to my heart with sweet memories of home in Massachusetts. A James Taylor classic. Enjoy

Parting shot: Stranger Things.


Friday, November 17, 2017

In Which She Realizes the Holidays are Looming

Holidays are sneaky. Seems like it was Labor Day like 2 weeks ago and I had all the time in the world to get things done.  Father Time is messing with me again. I must have two days work of hemming to do on gifts and a few things still on Fiona the Wolf Pup.



 Time to engage rear into gear and since there is nothing in process in the sewing salon, I can thread up the machine for the various hemming jobs.

There were a couple of fun things that went from cloth to clothing. I am in love with the Style Arc Patricia Rose dress/tunic pattern. Many of the patterns are one size, so you need to carefully look over their sizing chart. I hit it correctly for once! I lengthened the bodice an inch for the blue tunic



 but cut that to a half inch with the green number.





It preserves the proportion better and once the bunnies are strapped into their hutch it is perfect.

I flirted with the looms, started threading on the Mac



and wound on the bumblebee warp and made a start on it.



I have to be honest, while for some things I like the built in raddle on the Louet looms, but mostly I still use my old loop raddle to wind on. It is smooth and allows for a little play with delicate  or grabby yarns like the unmercerized 8/2 cotton can be. Along with the warping valet and some weights on the warp bundles, I made fast work of the 8 yards Sunday morning.

Monday was beautification day, so I picked up my Mom and we went off to the hairdressers. Melinda hit me with another Mermaid Blue streak. Here it is, first thing in the morning.



 Those twizzlers of white and grey hair are making quite the halo!

Way back in September I ordered a Jonathan Seidel tape loom, the new Scandinavian style.





 It's a beauty and we are just getting to know each other. I was able to repurpose this bench to accommodate the loom



 since I sold the Baby Wolf. It can go back to being an adjustable bench easily and the loom can rest on a table too.

The Cedric floor inkle is soon to receive a new warp too.



 I'm going to weave myself a some "leashes" to hold my specs around my neck. The beaded ones break all too easily.

I'm offering up a Joni Mitchell song, appropriate given that this present gawd awful administration is going to open up the arctic to drilling, allowing elephant trophies into the country (thus effectively making the ivory trade stronger), and and finally, allowing the killing of bears & wolf pups while they hibernate or den in Alaska. Really? Mercy, Mercy Me.

Parting shots: Don't touch that!






Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Elections Matter

Some more than others.

This is quickie post so you can all see the wonderful diverse faces of the winners in yesterdays elections around the country.

I have great hopes for 2018. We can make a difference, one by one. Oh yes we can!


Monday, November 6, 2017

The Same but Different!

I have a lot of ideas that I keep on Pinterest. They provide endless inspiration for when I get bogged down. A little detail here, a design idea I can incorporate, an awesome weaving draft. Really that's what Pinterest is about, a place to park ideas. This one has been niggling me for quite a while now. I relented on the last cutting jag, grabbed some screaming orange Japanese linen and went to town. How perfect that the selvage edges where nicely decorated in a deep royal blue. I made use of them through the whole garment and saved some time on hemming I might add. I used my frankenpattern of a Scout Tee and an Indigo Junction tunic and came up with this. It looked like a hot mess for quite a while and flipping through those layers was a bugger,



 but I couldn't be more pleased with the end result.





It's everything I love in a piece of clothing. Nice fabric, great color and interesting but not too overwrought design and I think, flattering.



 I felt pretty good stepping out Saturday night with Gene to take my Mom out for dinner.

Also out of the sewing salon was a fun Sewing Workshop Liberty Shirt. I make one of these at least once a year.



 It's a nice pattern and is a lot of fun to make. Usually I hit the linen shelf for this but I wanted something more colorful and playful.



 This lightweight cotton canvas in a print named "Juicy" was just the ticket. Just because we are coming into winter, doesn't mean drab colors!

The bumblebee warp is wound and waiting to be beamed on the Ziva David loom. I'm just starting to thread the hemp/linen bath towel warp on the Macomber and scanning drafts for the Louet Spring.



We spent last Thursday and Friday buttoning down the hatches for our first snow. The goats got bedding in their little hutch in the run in shed, the heater for the water tank got hooked up and dropped in, wood has been split and stacked in the shed, shovels found and placed in appropriate places etc. Let the winter begin! For the wildlife it is hard times, but I am happy to report we've had some interesting pre-dawn sightings. Not one, not two, but three grey foxes spied together which confirms my suspicion that they are siblings hanging together this first winter. Momma raccoon brought back all 3 of her brood to pirate one of my feeders. All adult size now, fat, furry and healthy looking. I'm betting they will den together this first winter.  Lastly, I saw an owl flying out of my barn Saturday morning. Likely a Barred Owl, or a Western Screech Owl. It was silent, large and ghostly as it sailed forth from inside my barn and out of my light beam in a blink of an eye. Any day you see an owl is a good day!

This posts song is a farewell to an all too short fall. Enjoy! Holidays are just around the corner....

Parting shot: The two bricks, red and gold!